Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
March 2, 2016

Super Tuesday ’16: Photo Final

Via the NYT. Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton were the big winners on Super Tuesday.

You would think last night’s clear-cut Super Tuesday victories by Trump and Clinton would bring more certainty and uncomplicated celebration. The pictures that jumped out at me, though, seem far from it. Instead, the emergence of both candidates as overwhelming front runners seemed to raise even bigger question marks.

The photo above was characteristic. Leading off today’s NYT daily briefing, the caption simply reads:

Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton were the big winners on Super Tuesday.

Curious as it is with that wonderfully suggestive surface and the eroded Trump sign, How should we read this — besides “a good time was had by all”? … So Trump was the winner — now bring on Armageddon? A juggernaut built on sand?

Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump speaks to the media at his Mar-A-Lago Club on Super Tuesday, March 1, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump held the press conference, flanked by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, after the Super Tuesday polls closed in a dozen states nationwide. John Moore/Getty Images.

Yeah, the hive (at least on Twitter) was obsessed with “what’s wrong with Christie?”

Most of the riffs had to do with regret or sour grapes. I see it differently. If Christie’s mug tarnished Trump’s runaway victory, it seemed bound to be. As unqualified as Trump is for the presidency, the Christie photo (not to mention, how much people were dying to chatter about it) seemed to reflect the extreme doubt and reservation about Donald Drumpf.

By the way, Christie’s Trump-undermining was just a variation on the posterizing of Rubio a few weeks ago. Simply, the guy’s a hatchet man.

Carlos Barria/Reuters: Republican presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio holds a cutout of his head in front of his face as he greets supporters after speaking about the Super Tuesday primary and caucus voting results at a campaign rally in Miami, Florida March 1, 2016.
Talking Rubio, by the way … live by the persona, die by the persona? Clearly, Rubio’s last straw (if he hasn’t been clutching for them the whole time) was his late conversion from Boy Scout to Baby Trump.

"A Hillary Clinton supporter cheered at a rally at The Old South Meeting House in Boston." Super Tuesday. Doug Mills, NYT.

How’s this for odd and foreboding, though? This photo by Doug Mills appeared as a New York Times “photos of the day” yesterday. The caption reads:

“A Hillary Clinton supporter cheered at a rally at The Old South Meeting House in Boston.”

So, can Hillary really count on the women’s vote to crush Howard Stern’s good friend — or is all convention-al thinking this election cycle a mirage? In essence … who knows what evil lurks in the heart of this electorate?

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters: Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who came to her rally in costume as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) and as Mrs. Clinton (R), clown around as they attend her Super Tuesday night party in Miami, Florida, March 1, 2016.

Finally…

Beneath the slapstick, this one, too, speaks to Hilary’s challenge ahead. Seeing how the “Hillary” in red chokes the “Donald” in red (its already been a bloody year), the photo is also about the temptation/risk of playing Trump’s own game.

(photo 1: Mark Makela for The New York Times. photo 2: John Moore/Getty Images caption: Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump speaks to the media at his Mar-A-Lago Club on Super Tuesday, March 1, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump held the press conference, flanked by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, after the polls closed in a dozen states nationwide. photo 3: Carlos Barria/Reuters caption: Republican presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio holds a cutout of his head in front of his face as he greets supporters after speaking about the Super Tuesday primary and caucus voting results at a campaign rally in Miami, Florida March 1, 2016.. photo 4: Doug Mills/New York Times. photo 5: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters caption: Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who came to her rally in costume as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) and as Mrs. Clinton (R), clown around as they attend her Super Tuesday night party in Miami, Florida, March 1, 2016.)

 

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